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Factors to Consider When Planning Your Office Design and Layout

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Design Ideas For A New Startup Company

The challenge of planning an efficient office design and layout can seem like a daunting task. Several key factors must be considered to secure a space that balances utilitarian functionalities with creative interior design.

Whether the purpose of designing a new office layout is for expanding, remodeling, or moving into new office quarters, the process can be exciting, albeit slightly overwhelming. After all, your office design can significantly affect your personal image.

With careful considerations to office space planning, you can create an office space that promotes productivity and innovation in the workplace while attracting and retaining talent with the company.

Here are the key elements you have to consider when designing your new office:

1.    Your requirements

top reasons and goals your business has for a new space

First things first, your planning process should define the planning requirements of your new office design. Whether it’s moving to a new space or renovating the current office layout, start by defining the top reasons and goals your business has for a new space. Yes, it takes a lot of time and money to design/redesign your office and the reasons why you are planning to make changes in the design should guide your whole design process.

Some reasons may include office relocation, a merger or acquisition, or it may come down to the simple need to consolidate existing space as your business experiences departmental shifts and new divisions of labor.

Similarly, the main goals to redesign office space may be to increase productivity and efficiency or rebrand the business to modernize it for internal and external audiences, making it easier to attract new talent to the company.

By first understanding the purpose and requirements of a new office layout, you can discover ‘best practices’ and design trends, as well as the right professional interior design company to work with that, speaks to your brand’s personality.

2.    The importance of lighting

Lighting, be it your home or your office, is one of the most important aspects in the whole designing process from an interior designer’s perspective. When natural lighting is used in a corporate space, firms can reduce their energy consumption and lower electricity bills. But the use of natural light can have an impact on office productivity and overall health as well. The use of natural light in an office setting has been shown to boost productivity, work satisfaction and mood, and worker health. Natural light, therefore, is beneficial for the overall mood in the office.

As such, when designing your new office layout, consider the importance of natural light. Natural light is vital for productivity and motivation purposes. Take into consideration that office furniture or equipment does not obstruct or block sources of natural light.

Complement natural light with modern lighting technology such as LED lighting solutions to truly create an office space that’s conducive for work.

3.    The right colors

importance of lighting

Designing a new layout for your office is the perfect time to integrate color schemes to your office setting. Colors are a powerful form of communication. They can evoke certain emotional responses according to the selected color scheme.

Picking a perfect color for your office can be a bit challenging and is a bit different from picking a perfect color combination for your condo. When developing a new layout, use color to its fullest potential. Incorporating the color green through workspaces, for example, has significant implications on office productivity, efficiency, and employee recruitment and retention. 

Examine your brand’s style guideline and use colors that work with your company’s branding.

Striking the right balance is key when incorporating color to design elements. Too much color can become overbearing and fatiguing. Similarly, not enough color, or having too much white can hinder the productivity in an office environment.

4.    Navigation and space

floor plan

An effective floor plan will ensure your office layout is functional and serves its utilitarian purpose for fire code safety and evacuation plans. At the same time, fluid navigation can affect collaboration and team engagement. 

Managing and utilizing space effectively ensures that your new floor plan can strategically scale with the business as it grows strength to strength.

Special considerations to navigation and space create a task-orientated working environment that enables employees to perform and collaborate better while accommodating growth.           

The new office layout should also consider the importance of varying working environments. This includes creating spaces for collaborative work and individual, quiet projects.

5.    Turning the workplace into a destination

workplace into a destination

 

With virtual offices and remote work on the rise, organizations must create offices that enhance culture and is fully enjoyed by its staff. With office space being a valuable real estate investment, companies must utilize every square inch to create a work environment that’s inviting, inspiring, and comfortable.

Furniture throughout the office should be flexible and multi-functional. Multi-purpose rooms, a working cafe, and lounge spaces give staff a desirable destination that they will fully employ day in and day out. When planning a new office layout, democratize key areas of the office.

This encourages active participation, strategic collaboration, and improved productivity.

Seeing the big picture

The design and layout of your office’s workspace will have a significant impact on productivity, engagement, employee satisfaction, brand impact, and talent recruitment. Careful consideration must be given to planning to create an office layout that’s approachable and strategically designed to be conducive to work.

It’s not possible to take into consideration the individual choices of color, lighting, space etc. Therefore, as a designer, your aim should be creating a design which is acceptable to ‘most’ of the people i.e. any design idea which is generally acceptable.

Of course, you can use your skills and knowledge as a designer to come up with something brilliant, but you should remember that the office will be used by regular people and every individual is going to have a different taste and preference. A general approach, therefore, is the best way to go.

AUTHOR BIO
Shane Curran
CEO at Interact Group LLC
Interact Group is a design-led interior fit-out company that aims to set new standards in the UAE interiors market. Driven by their dedication to total customer experience, the company’s mission is to bring truly specialized teams to complex design and fit out challenges, utilizing their unmatched ability to deliver spaces efficiently and above expectation.

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Importance of the role of HRs in the success of Startups

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Importance of the role of HRs in the success of Startups

We’re living in an unprecedented age of startups. 

With globalization, Startups have managed to taste success like never before. This has encouraged young talents to take a jump in the Startup pool.

However, 90% of startups fail within the first year. The ones that succeed have several things going in their favor and having a functional HR department is on the top things in that list. 

Why is HR so important?

There’s one big reason: Startups require energetic employees that can get results and solve challenges. Whether it’s finding these people or building a culture so they feel motivated to stay, HR plays the most important role in making it happen. 

Without HR you won’t have the right people. And without that, you won’t have your startup. 

The role of Human Resource in startups 

It’s about maximizing the potential of every employee. Below are some of the important roles of HR that keep your startup running smoothly and efficiently. 

Allows a startup to hire the best talent     

Everyone wants problem-solving folks on their team. When hiring, a startup not only has to compete with other startups but also cash-rich MNCs. HR can correctly analyze the hiring needs and create a brand image that will attract the right talent. It is a critical element, especially for startups looking to hire a diverse workforce.  

Helps in maintaining and retaining the talent   

The startup world is fragile. Most employees are looking for a stable opportunity and it is the reason a lot of them leave once they find that somewhere else. It’s easier to emotionally connect employees with the company values with a structured HR department and top management, which motivates them to stay longer. 

Helps in maintaining the CULTURE 

People love startup culture as it provides a lot of freedom and a platform for people to create their own set of processes. Progressive startups focus on the results rather than what the employees are wearing, where they are working from, and what’s their schedule. Offering people ownership and responsibility yields better results in the longer term. This culture of driving new initiatives and setting CORE values is built by the HR team. 

Helps in building the structure and improving the policies 

During the initial phase, most startups follow a flat structure without any hierarchies. As a startup starts growing, things scale up quickly. Especially if the number of employees starts growing over 50, then it’s better to build different structural hierarchies for different teams.   

For example, the Marketing team initially had 2 employees and they reported to the CEO. Now, 3 new people have joined and it’s not possible for the CEO to check-in on all of them. So, the 3 new-joiners can report to the initial 2 employees who then report to the CEO on behalf of the team.   

Any startup will fall apart if they don’t build a support system. Both management and HR are responsible for passively instilling this set of policies and hierarchies in the entire organization. 

Helps in learning and development of employees 

The culture at startups is such that employees are full of energy and enthusiasm. But this spark in employees will die if there is no continuous learning available for them. 

During a transition from START-up to SCALE-up, the employees must bring their A-game to work. That’s possible with effective employee engagement and the development of the workforce.  

HRs, with the heap of learning and development initiatives, will help you do exactly that. 
 

This is how you develop a structured HR department 

  1. Hire better: If you don’t hire the right HR people, don’t expect them to hire the best talent for your startup. 
  2. Encourage accountability: When you give HRs the control, they’ll feel responsible and inspired to check-in on everyone.  
  3. Offer trust: Don’t make HRs go round-round for permission on the small issues. Offer them trust and let them handle things.  
  4. Invest in technology: A modern HRMS helps HRs streamline functions and provide a uniform experience to every single person at the company. 

Finally… 

As startups evolve and continue to grow rapidly, a lot of elements will play a significant role in their journey towards success. HR as a function is one of the key elements that’ll help organizations create a culture of empathy and give them an edge over others. 

Now that you’re aware of the importance of HR in startups, set a plan for your HR department and grow like never before. 

About the Author:

Dheeraj Kumar Pandey
Dheeraj is an HR Advisor and stands at the forefront when it comes to helping Business Owners and HR Heads to overcome Tech challenges in People process. He has spent his last 10 years playing a vital role in assisting Startups, SMEs and Enterprise organizations to harness HR technology for maximizing people’s potential, performance to drive business outcomes. Dheeraj has used Keka as the platform of choice in helping 5300+ HR professionals at over 3000 organisations.

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WannaCry Ransomware – How to Avoid It?

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WannaCry Ransomware - How to Avoid It?

The malevolent ransomware called “WannaCry” hit organizations both vast and small globally in 2017. Over 200,000 frameworks were infected. This vast scope of infection affected organizations, governments, and surprisingly forced trauma centres to shut down.

WannaCry is a tool focusing on Windows OS where programmers assume responsibility for a PC, lock it, and hold clients’ information prisoner with no chance of recovering the files until a cryptocurrency ransom has been made.

This Windows OS security imperfection was initially exploited by the National Security Agency (NSA), then it was leaked, thereby permitting programmers to utilize the defect. A new IBM study approximates a 6,000% surge in ransomware assaults.

With ransomware assaults on the ascent, the Internet Society (ISOC) found that many people are unprepared to manage ransomware. However, you can avert this when you install an antivirus like Bitdefender or use a firewall. This article will look into how you avoid WannaCry and the updated versions of this ransomware tool.

Tips on How to Avoid the WannaCry Ransomware Tool

Ensure That Your Windows OS Is Always Up-To-Date

In case you’re using a modernized version of Microsoft OS, including Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, and you’ve remained up-to-date on your framework refreshes, you shouldn’t be susceptible to the present recapitulation of the WannaCry tool.

Due to the WannaCry ransomware tool’s surge, Microsoft gave uncommon patches on the more seasoned versions of Windows it presently doesn’t support to secure them against this malware. This includes Windows 8, Windows Vista, Windows XP, among others.

Put in A Devoted Ransomware Blocker

Try not to assume that your present antivirus utility offers insurance against ransomware, mainly if it’s an obsolete rendition. A significant number of the enormous antivirus suites didn’t add ransomware jamming until recently.

Not certain you’re secured? Go to your utility configurations and check whether there’s any indication of ransomware. Or then again, search online for your utility tool’s particular version and check whether it’s listed among the highlights.

On the off chance that it’s not, or you’re almost certain you don’t have any sort of protection past your fixed form of Windows, introduce a devoted antimalware tool. Some of the free options include Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware and Cybereason Ransom free.

Scan Your Emails and Mail Service Regularly

IT specialist organizations report that 46% of the ransomware assaults they noticed were brought about by phishing tricks or emails, as indicated by research from Datto. Try not to open mails from individuals you don’t know without checking them first for malware.

Gmail has an implicit malware checker that will caution you before you open a dubious email. Numerous antimalware programming projects have email checking capacities. Some top-notch tools include Kaspersky and Norton Anti-virus.

Regardless of whether an email looks genuine, be cautious. Do not tap on a link within an email from somebody you don’t know. On the off chance that the mail is from a bank or of a service that you buy into, make a point to browse the email address cautiously.

Ensure That Your Passwords Are Airtight

Passcodes are a hassle, yet they are a critical way to stop programmers who could introduce ransomware tools like WannaCry and Petya. Ensure your passcodes are impermeable along these lines empowering them to secure your information in a superior manner.

Likewise, changing your passcodes regularly and entirely every couple of months will help keep the hackers speculating hence guaranteeing that your information is a lot more secure.

Back-Up All the Data in Your PC and Smartphone

In case you’re similar to most individuals, you’ve presumably heard this previously and disregarded it. With the low cost of external hard disks, free cloud services, and the simplicity of doing these backups, there’s no reason for not having either of the two.

Week by week, reinforcements could be needed for a great many people and can save you a load of cash demanded by hackers when they taint your system with a ransomware tool such as Petya WannaCry.

Do Not Be Relaxed About Your Information’s Security on Social Media

The best safeguard is to have an incredible offense with regards to forestalling ransomware assaults. Your offense can begin with your online media accounts. Ensure your profiles are private and can only be seen by individuals you know.

Try not to share an excessive amount of individual data, particularly in your biography. It’s simple for hackers to deduce your current location, device IP address, and more from sites such as Facebook, and Twitter consequently empowering them to dispatch a ransomware assault on your gadget.

Final Thought

All in all, the guidelines we have illustrated above can offer the first line of protection against the WannaCry ransomware tool. Nevertheless, all businesses and individuals are susceptible to a breach; therefore, it is always crucial to ensure you stay up-to-date on current threats and how to best deal with them.

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A brief guide for North America Shipping

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A brief guide for North America Shipping

Shipping from Canada to the US can be a fairly daunting process as a lot of paperwork is involved in it. It is indisputable that international shipping to North America has grown significantly with the passage of time and is continuing to flourish. Whether you are shipping from Canada to the US, or you are shipping to Mexico or any other location within North America, you definitely need the right shipping services, to manage the costs effectively. It is advised that you get your quotes from different North America shipping services before you hire one. A little research will help you make the right pick. 

Things to Consider while shipping from Canada to the US:

If you are shipping between Canada and the United States, then there are some key elements that must be considered. You will require the following as they are mandatory:

  • Consider the documentation that is required for all the parcels that have to be shipped to the United States. 
  • Consider the shipping options that you have access to. 
  • Look into how valuation will have an impact on online and clearance orders that will be shipped to the US. 
  • Always request an economy rate for heavier parcels that have to be shipped from Canada to the US. 

Prohibited or Restricted Products:

There are some products that are restricted for shipment from Canada to the United States. It is important to know about them as you don’t want to be involved in any legal matters. If you hire a professional and well-reputed shipping service, they will definitely educate you about the restricted products beforehand. 

This will vary from shipper to shipper. Some shippers might ship these products for you but make sure that it is safe to do so. 

 the following items are prohibited to ship from Canada to the US (do check with your shipper): 

  • Weapons (you will require a special license for it)
  • Tobacco products 
  • Medications 
  • Animal products or animals
  • Seeds
  • Money
  • Lottery tickets 
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Batteries
  • Certain types of toys 
  • Illegal substances 

Can you ship gift baskets from Canada to the US?

The pandemic has limited human interactions and the festivities are incomplete without gifts from our loved ones. The only option that people have now, is to ship their presents through cargo. With limitations on some products, can one ship gift baskets from Canada to the US? Well, you can but whilst keeping some certain things in your mind. 

  • Make sure that there is no alcohol in the basket. 
  • The shipment must be addressed to one individual only, otherwise FDA won’t approve it. 
  • If you ship a basket from a company, it won’t be considered a personal shipment. Thus, keep it in mind and make sure it is addressed from and to one individual only. 
  • You will have to provide a list of all the items present in the gift basket along with description. 

Customs while shipping within North America:

Whether you are shipping to North America or places within North America, it is important that you pay attention to the custom’s documentation. A detailed description is required of each item that is involved in the basket is crucial along with a local contact number of the recipient. 

CONCLUSION

Research for the best North America shipping services if you have to send items within North America or to it. A well-reputed company follows all the guidelines and provides the best shipping services to you as well. Thus, keep it in mind that your cargo delivery is highly reliant on the shipping service you opt for. 

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